UK Liberty

BNP membership list leaked

Posted in database state, law and order, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on November 19, 2008

A lot of crowing about this from politicians and the ‘blogosphere’.

The BBC (also the Times,

Serving and former police officers, teachers and soldiers are listed as members of the British National Party in a leaked document published online.

The list, which dates from 2007, has the names, addresses, jobs and phone numbers of more than 10,000 people.

Since 2004, police officers have been banned from being members of the anti-immigration party.

The party’s leader, Nick Griffin, said the leak was “a disgraceful act of treachery” by former members.

And a nasty infringement of privacy.

He said he had “no problem at all” about the professions of members being in the public domain, which was “a matter of public interest”.

But publishing people’s names and addresses was a “nasty piece of intimidation” which he blamed on the “Labour regime”.

However, he welcomed the new media interest in the party as a result of the leak because it challenged the idea that the average member of the BNP “was a skinhead oik”.

“So in terms of repositioning us as a party genuinely made up of ordinary British people from all walks of life that will actually do us good,” he said.

Home Surveillance Secretary Jacqui Smith said “everybody has a right to protection under data protection laws” but it was a matter for Dyfed-Powys Police as to whether the matter should be taken further.

And she told the BBC News Channel she did not mind people knowing she was a member of the Labour Party, adding: “I wonder why it is that BNP members are rather more ashamed of their membership.”

Um, surely it’s effing obvious (although she’s obviously being snide): there is so much ill-feeling about membership, despite it being a legal political party, that you can’t be a police officer and a member of the BNP, you can’t be a trade union member and a member of the BNP, and so on.

Not to mention the risks inherent in having a list published with 10,000 names, addresses, jobs and phone numbers.

But then Jacqui doesn’t give a flying f&$@ about privacy or freedom of conscience or people being identified for their political beliefs.

Mr Griffin earlier said the list was “essentially genuine”, but a number of names of people who were not or are not party members had been added.

Well, that’s the other danger, isn’t it?  That a serving police officer (for example) may have had his name maliciously added, has never been a member of the BNP, may have to prove he shouldn’t have been on it. 

But no, let’s all have a good laugh.


8 Responses

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  1. shadowfirebird said, on November 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    While I agree with you, the reason that BNP members are the attention of so much ill-feeling and scrutiny is partly legitimate (and, granted, partly hysteria).

    The party’s policies skate on the edge of incitement to racial hatred. Whether that is or is not a crime (should or should not be a crime) I think there is legitimate interest in persons in a position of trust who secretly endorse such a party.

    It seems to me that whoever leaked those documents may have done society a favour. But justice should would still be served by prosecuting him or her. If they had altruistic motives, they should willingly accept all the consequences of their actions.

  2. ukliberty said, on November 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Some of them are racists and fascists.

    Some of them are ordinary people who have real (albeit perhaps misplaced) concerns about immigration and its effects on their communities and employment prospects, which they feel aren’t being addressed by the mainstream parties.

    The list does not distinguish between them – nor have the people who have spread it – but they have nevertheless become potential targets.

  3. ukliberty said, on November 19, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    One woman, who did not want to be named, told BBC Radio 5 Live she received a phone call at 11pm on Tuesday night saying she should be “very careful” as someone could come to her house. …
    John, from Redcar, told 5 Live he had been inundated with abusive and threatening e-mails since the list was published. “They have said they will put them [his details] on as many sites as they can and they won’t leave us alone,” he said.

    The BBC

  4. shadowfirebird said, on November 19, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Point taken.

    Maybe it would have been a clearer ethical case — still illegal and immoral, though — if they’d just published the details of the policemen, soldiers, and lawyers. Oh wait, what about the teachers?

    Of course this is the problem with defying the law to serve the greater good (assuming that that is what this is). You’re playing (a) god.

    No doubt some people will say that, on balance, the greater good has indeed been served by this action. I don’t know about that. I only think that *some* good *may* have been done.

  5. ukliberty said, on November 19, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Some good may have been done. Does it outweigh the bad?

    I don’t know.

    Perhaps I’m being rather po-faced. But I’m strongly against this idea of being identified and pilloried for a particular political belief, no matter how offensive it is to me, together with a sense that the mainstream parties are doing better to recruit people to the BNP than the BNP have done by themselves.

    I’m particularly bemused by the irony in anti-BNP people making threatening phone calls. I guess it proves there are nutters on both sides.

  6. Lee Griffin said, on November 19, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    I don’t see what good can be done here, it’s exactly the sort of action that is only going to inflame the situation, not ease it. The comparisons with how people are using this and to abhorrent sites like redwatch are all too prevalent unfortunately.

    Some, if not many, of those that joined the BNP may have done so having some fears stoked by our illiberal press and chose the BNP to fly their flag. They are now going to be getting phone calls and other nastiness…is that going to convince them that they’re wrong, or that those people they feared really ARE out to get them?

  7. curly said, on November 19, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    I despise them and their policies, but would vehemently defend their rights to privacy and security of personal data.

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